Popular activist Okiya Omtatah has moved to court to challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent Cabinet appointments, saying the Chief Administrative Secretaries positions are unconstitutional.
Omtatah, who has sued Uhuru, the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Attorney-General and the Speaker of the National Assembly argues that candidates for the Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries (PS) were handpicked without public participation as required by law.
In the petition filed Monday morning, Omtatah argues that the president together with the Public Service Commission must be stopped from “ignoring” the rule of law which is a key national value and principle of governance.
“The creation of the position of Chief Administrative Secretary in all Government ministries by President Uhuru Kenyatta in consultation with the Public service Commission is invalid, null and void ab initio and of no legal effect,” Omtatah says in his petition.
The activist wants the appointments of chief administrative secretary and principal secretaries in all ministries be temporarily suspended on grounds that they were appointed without following the due legal process.
“If this Honorable Court does not interdict the impugned actions of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Public Service Commission concerning the creation of offices in the public service, and the appointment of persons to offices in the public service, due process, rule of law, and constitutionalism in general, will be overthrown,” Omtatah said.
He further states that the country’s public wage bill is unsustainable and the costs of running the new positions in all ministries will further hurt taxpayers.
Vet Cabinet Secretaries
Omtatah is also seeking to have President Kenyatta compelled to submit all nominees to the Office of Cabinet Secretary for vetting by the National Assembly irrespective of whether or not they served in its first term.
President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the new position; Chief Administrative Secretaries on Friday while naming his cabinet.
According to Uhuru, the Chief Administrative Secretaries will play an oversight role and will better the coordination of activities in their respective ministries.
There has been a widespread public outcry over the creation of the Chief Administrative Secretaries, with critics arguing that the position has just been created to award political cronies.
Below is a list of the Appointed Chief Administrative Secretaries:
Chief Administrative Secretaries
- Patrick Ntutu – Interior and Coordination of National Government
- Ababu Namwamba – Foreign Affairs
- Rachel Shebesh – Youth and Gender
- Hussein Dado – Devolution and ASAL areas
- Chris Obure – Transport and Infrastructure Development
- Winnie Guchu-Water and Sanitation
- Nelson Gaichuhie-National treasury and Ministry of Planning
- Rashid Aman-Health
- Simon Kachapin-Education
- Gideon Mung’aro-Lands
- Abdul Bahari-Labour and Social Protection
- Ken Obura- East African Community and Northern Corridor Development